This summer, I started a new journey with food. I was tested for food sensitives and there were lots of things on the list that I should avoid for a period of time. For those that know me, I love parsley. Heck, I’d prefer a bouquet of parsley over roses! It’s the perfect accessory for most of my meals. But for now, Thyme is on my side J. I also eliminated dairy – and boy, that is tough. I love cheese and ice cream, but I took a vacation from it. I did start to eat more vegetables and fruits, which is a good thing and having a better variety of food is helping.
I’m looking forward to my birthday dinner in September and requested Chicken Parm.
My mom came for a visit this weekend. We enjoyed walks around town, the rooftop, wine and good company! My sister Jeannette and nephew William joined us on Saturday evening for a sleep over and we decided to go wild and have a Saturday night dinner, in sunday style. We made Spaghetti and Meatballs! My mother always makes itty bitty meatballs for William, but he is growing up and ate the big ones! Nothing is more important than family and I am grateful for the memories we are creating in my new apartment.
Sorry I haven’t posted anything for a while! I thought my “re-launch” to this blog would be good to use the very first recipe I posted last year when I started this website. I made the sauce today and I will admit, I always changed up my version of marinara sauce in the past, but today I followed the recipe and made it exactly how my father did. It won’t taste exactly as his did – there was a special something with his version. I didn’t edit my original post of the recipe. The purpose of this website was to share the memories that are made in my mother’s kitchen. My father will always be in our memory in everything we do. We love and miss him very much.
Marinara sauce is an important component in a lot of the food we eat. While my mom owns her kitchen and controls everything that goes on in it, my Dad helps out a lot. They are a great team and its wonderful to watch them in action. My Dad, Tony – aka, Mary’s Sous Chef makes the sauce. We make enough to freeze and the recipe below makes about 8-10 cups.
3 28 oz. cans of tomatoes, crushed
1/4 cup of olive oil
1 small onion, chopped
8 garlic cloves, chopped
12 basil leaves, chopped
3 tablespoons tomato paste
3 tablespoons parsley, chopped
3 bay leaves
9 sprigs of thyme
3 sprigs of rosemary
1 teaspoon of oregano
1 teaspoon crushed hot pepper
salt to taste
In a large pot, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add onion and cook until translucent, about 8-10 minutes. Then, add the garlic and cook for a few more minutes until slightly brown. Add tomato paste, then the crushed tomatoes, basil, parsley, bay leaves, thyme, rosemary, oregano, hot pepper and salt. Raise the heat to medium-high, bring to a boil, and then simmer for 1 hour, stirring every once in a while until the sauce is thick.
They say practice makes perfect. I cooked a lot over the past few days. I made steamed mussels in a mustard and white wine sauce, chicken stock, chicken parm and I wanted to try the fresh pasta dough that I made for my friends the weekend before and it came out better this time around. I cut the recipe in half and the dough was easier to manage. I plan to do this a few more times until I get a better handle of it. Perfecting my mothers pastry dough has been on my list and I thought I would try that like I did with the pasta – I cut the recipe in half (the recipe is posted in my list of recipes).
I decided to make empanda’s filled with Guava paste and cream cheese :). I made half of the dough recipe and filled with guava paste and cream cheese. The amount of guava paste and cream cheese depends on the size of the empanada’s. I made small ones and used about a teaspoon of each. Crimp the ends with a fork and brush egg wash over it and bake at 350 for about 20 minutes or until golden brown. It came out good, but I plan to try again this weekend to compare. Have a good week!
Hi Everyone! Hope you are all doing well. This was a tough winter and so happy that Spring has Sprung! It has been way too long since I’ve posted anything and also way too long since I’ve seen my childhood girlfriends from Brooklyn. Last night, the girls came over and I made dinner. Against one of my rules, I made things that I’ve never tested by myself before. Yes, I cooked them with my mother, but its another thing to do it on your own! Not to mention, the critic (Anna) is not so easy to please. 🙂
Since they came over on a Friday during lent, fish was on the menu for every course. Josephine brought the wine, Anna, the cake and Maria was sick so she didn’t make it and we missed her! We started with Mussels in white wine and toasted Italian bread. Then, I served homemade pasta with fresh clam sauce and lastly, crabmeat stuffed flounder with string beans. Yes – us Brooklyn girls can eat!!
Everything came out great. When we were done with dinner, we cleaned up and watched a movie and had Cupcakes by Melissa. The best ingredients to a good night – good food, good wine and great company!
This time of year reminds me of Chili. This week, my friend Gracie suggested that I enter into a Chili Cook-off that will be held in Hoboken in late February. I made Chili once, so I thank her for the confidence she has in me! I went on a mission this week to find the best recipe and did as much research as time permitted. I was inspired by Bobby Flay’s Red Beef Chili, but his recipe has a lot of fresh peppers. My concern was that the supermarkets would not have all of the types his recipe called for. His recipe also uses chunks of beef (bottom round) and I am usually a fan of Chili with ground beef.
Yesterday I went all around Hoboken to find chili peppers and ended up with dried chilies instead. I thought I would make a chili sauce for the base to replace the fresh peppers. Then, when it came time to buying the beef, I was reluctant to get the bottom round, so I decided to compromise with myself (BTW, I do this all the time), and get both bottom round and ground beef. So, while Bobby’s recipes was my inspiration, I did change it up a lot. I made the chili sauce yesterday – something I recommend as it take a little time to prepare the sauce, but worth it.
As I was preparing to make the Chili this morning, I had every intention to use both kinds of beef. This is where the Tale of Two Chili’s comes into play. Since I might enter into the contest, I decided to test out the two separately, using exactly the same ingredients and make two versions – you, got it – one with the bottom round and one with the ground beef. I plan to bring both to work and let them be the judges! As soon as the results are in, I will let you know!! My preference is the ground beef 🙂